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Georgia football return specialist and receiver Mecole Hardman and the Bulldogs are back in the SEC Championship Game.

Georgia football a double-digit underdog to Alabama in SEC Championship Game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama has opened as a 10 1/2-point favorite over the Georgia football program in the SEC Championship Game, according to VegasInsider.com.

Its the first time Coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs have been an underdog all season, and it’s the closest line for the Tide all season (previously LSU, -14.5).

The No .1-ranked Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0 SEC) has made NCAA history by winning its first 12 games this season by 20 points or more.

The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-1, 7-1) return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with hopes of defending their league crown, the Tide essentially receiving an at-large bid into the playoffs along with a bye last season.

Alabama exploded for five touchdowns in the second half to pull away from rival Auburn in a 52-21 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.  Georgia built a 38-7 halftime lead on rival Georgia Tech and coasted to a 45-21 victory.

The Tide and Bulldogs met in the College Football Playoff Championship Game last January. Alabama prevailed 26-23, in overtime.

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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, this season’s frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, came off the bench to rally the Tide to the win after 2016 SEC Player of the Year Jalen Hurts was shut out in the first half.

Against the spread

Georgia is 7-5 against the spread, covering in each of the past four games against Kentucky (34-17, -9.5), Auburn (27-10, -13.5), UMass (66-27, -41.5) and Georgia Tech (45-21, -17).

Alabama has also been a good bet, 8-4 against the spread and covering in five of the past six games, the lone exception a 50-17 win over The Citadel.  The Tide was a 53.5-point favorite but struggled to a 10-10 halftime tie.

Road to Atlanta